Le Tour De Manure hits Valley streets
Cyclists gather early Saturday morning on Main Street in El Centro for the start of Le Tour De Manure, a local bike race that ranges from a 10-mile ride to a more challenging 45-mile ride connecting through the outskirts of Brawley. (ERIC MILLER)
Wearing black bike-riding gear, O’Donnell said Saturday’s annual bicycling event called Le Tour De Manure was an athletic prelude for a triathlon competition he plans to participate in next week in La Quinta.
“This is a training tool,” O’Donnell said as he was prepping his Cervelo racing bicycle. “So, all this is pretty much of a workout.”
It was also a workout for dozens of other participants in the annual event that raises money for Special Olympics competitions in the Imperial Valley, which usually consist of track and field and aquatic events, said coordinator Patricia Urena.
The route of Saturday’s bike trek directed bicyclists to head east on Main Street before turning north onto Highway 111.
It offered participants the options of cycling 10-mile or 25-mile round trip routes.
The grueling third option was the 46-mile roundwise route that had bicyclists head toward Brawley and then cycle east on Highway 78 before turning back to El Centro.
The bike ride, which Urena said is in its 25th or 27th year, started at Seventh and Main streets in El Centro.
For Michael Lutes, a native of El Centro who lives in Chula Vista, doing the big ride provided a chance to visit his mother and to also exercise his leg muscles. Lutes towed his 4-year-old daughter Elena in a child carrier.
“I take care of two things at once,” Lutes said.
Amparo McMeechan and her husband, David, decided to partake in the local event because it appealed to them the first time they participated a year ago.
The McMeechans are no strangers to cycling events as they have participated in ones in New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Los Angeles, David McMeechan said.
“We came from Phoenix just to do it,” Amparo McMeechan said of the couple’s entry in the El Centro bicycling ride. “It was so nice we came back.”
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at email@example.com